Following the money in Raleigh | Eastern North Carolina Now

It's not about health care, its about staying on the gravy-train


They’ll call it “Medicaid Expansion” or revising the State Health Plan but the real meaning will be:  “how much will Big Health have to pay to buy keeping its Cash Cow going”?  Or, if you prefer:  “why did the Top Dogs in the Legislature flip flop on health care?  Or perhaps you prefer the more general indictment:  “how they make the sausage in Raleigh”  (with our money.)

We get our clues in bits and pieces.  The latest piece comes from the Daily which posts:

Paying attention to the men behind the curtain

By: Brant Clifton

We’re going to ask you to do the opposite of what we were advised in the legendary film ‘The Wizard of Oz.’

You’re about to suddenly start hearing a lot from something called The Affordable Health Care Coalition of North Carolina.  We’ve heard a lot from them in the past advocating for the expansion of Medicaid in our fair state.  Now, with Blue Cross’s loss of the state health plan business, the AHCC of NC is ramping up attacks on that deal itself, as well as treasurer Dale Folwell’s ethics.

For what it’s worth, you can close your eyes and throw a rock and hit someone irritated by Blue Cross.  (I’ve had problems with them myself.). It’s easy to hate on an insurance company.  But I’ve been surprised at how many good things I’ve heard from random people about Aetna.  (From what I understand, two of the biggest employers in BCBS of North Carolina’s hometown — The City of Durham and Duke University — are Aetna customers. )

On the AHCC’s home page, you see an editorial ranting about the change at the state health plan as a “highly secretive process.”  Really?  From what we can see, the plan to oust Blue Cross was discussed in open meetings all over the state for the last seven to eight months.  The  state health plan’s board voted unanimously to hire Aetna and to let Blue Cross go.   What’s so ‘highly secretive’?  What is so sneaky, here? 

This is not about protecting state employees or government transparency or watchdogging ethics.  This hubbub is purely about Blue Cross’s bottom line, and whether wads of BCBS cash continue to get stuffed into the pockets of certain Raleigh politicos.  If you doubt it, let’s take a look at some of the folks directing the action at The Affordable Health Care Coalition.  Behind the scenes, we have consultant / lobbyist Jim Blaine pulling the puppet strings and working his magic.  (Blaine is Renfield to Phil Berger’s Dracula.) 

Blaine is also apparently a key figure in the nascent Robinson for Governor campaign.  Treasurer Folwell is reportedly planning to enter the 2024 GOP gubernatorial primary against Mark Robinson. 

Let’s look at the other key names for the AHCC.   Austin Vevurka, the coalition’s executive director, is the former spokesman for Blue Cross Blue Shield.

And then there is the six-member board of directors for AHCC.  Kelly Calabria and Chris Evans work for Blue Cross Blue Shield.  Mark Fleming recently retired as VP at Blue Cross Blue Shield. 

Peter Daniel represents the NC Association of Health Plans, a leading advocate for Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina.

Paul Sherman represents the North Carolina Farm Bureau.  The Farm Bureau is worried about their costs going up if the change at the state health plan is final.

If you do business with the Farm Bureau, keep in mind that the money you pay them is financing attacks on Dale Folwell, as well as advocacy for the very expensive expansion of the fraud-riddled Medicaid system. 

Last but not least, Gary Salamido represents The NC Chamber — basically, the home office of The AntiChrist.  If they are behind something, it is usually not good for taxpayers.  The Chamber loves increased spending and tax increases and new regulations.

Again, these people are not acting out of concern for my or your welfare.  They are trying to stay ON the gravy train and keep the wads of cash flowing into their pockets.

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( January 16th, 2023 @ 9:07 am )
The swamp in Raleigh is as deep as the one in DC, and both places, the "Republican" leadership is in the thick of it, some of the most treacherous alligators in the swamp. They sell out constantly to the Democrats and to the special interests. McConnell, McCarthy, Berger, and Moore have all been horrible RINOs. There is now lots of hope in the US House because 20 conservatives stood firm and forced McCarthy to make some promises to actually function as a Republican and that seems to be working so far. They tried in the US Senate but unfortunately fell short against McConnell. What is really pathetic is that our state Senate and House conservatives did not even try, even though Berger and Moore are every bit as treacherous as McConnell and McCarthy.

And the real problem is these RINO leaders selling out the Republican voters for money. We need to clean House (and Senate) of this rotten RINO "leadership" and get some real leaders who have both principle and backbone, two things sorely lacking in the present crew.
( January 16th, 2023 @ 6:37 am )
If you have a big enough sack of money you can get any legislation you want. it is time to say no the the Federal and State House an Senate leaderships.
( January 15th, 2023 @ 3:53 pm )
Our former GOP state senator Bill Cook ran campaign ads against the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. Now, his RINO replacement Jim Perry of Kinston is in the hip pocket of Big Medicine and pushing this Democrat priority just as hard as he can.

Nationally, getting all states onboard the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is a big priorty of Democrats. It is disgusting to Republican voters that we have sell-out Special Interest Republicans in leadership positions in the General Assembly, Phil Berger and Tim Moore who are working as hard as the Democrats for this major Democrat priority. With "Republicans" like Berger and Moore, who even needs Democrats?

This is not the first time and probably will not be the last that Berger and Moore have betrayed Republican principles to do the bidding of the liberal special interests. This has also been a huge problem in DC with Mitch McConnell being one of the most shameless Special Interest Republicans around, and a parade of special interest Republicans like Boehner and Ryan heading House Repubilcans.

At least this time in the US Congress we had 20 heroes force McCarthy to make some commitments where he is supposed to actually function as a Republican for a change. His history in the past has always been as a special interest Republican. Where are our heroes in the General Assembly to whittle down the excessive control exercised by Berger and Moore? Do so many of them lack a full set of vertebrae?

Why bother to elect a Republican legislative majority if they are going to sell us out at every turn? Phil Berger is little more than a backwater Mitch McConnell and Tim Moore a backwater John Boehner. Why do we tolerate these backstabbing scoundrels?

At least it was encouraging to hear Rep. Keith Kidwell on WTIB speaking out against the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. Rank and file Republicans stopped it in the House last session, and hopefully they will have the backbone to do it again.

Berger and Moore are beneath contempt. THey have been doing Roy Cooper and the Democrats' bidding on issue after issue. They are not only Special Interest Republicans who sell us out to the special interests, but they are also Benedict Arnold Republicans who sell us out to the Democrats.

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